Pathping more than handy network troubleshooting tool

This useful troubleshooting command for cmd provides information about network speed and network loss at every node between a source and destination. Pathping sends Echo Requests to every router between a source and destination and then calculates the results based on the packets returned from every device. By displaying the percentage of packet loss at any given node, we can see which router have some network problems. Pathping is making the same thing like tracert command but with more information about every router on the way.

Syntax is like this:

pathping [-n] [-h MaximumHops] [-g HostList] [-p Period] [-q NumQueries [-w Timeout] [-T] [-R] [TargetName]

And this are all parameters you can use to have different show:

-n : Prevents pathping from attempting to resolve the IP addresses of routers to their names on the way.

-h MaximumHops : Specifies the maximum number of hops in the path.

-g HostList : Specifies that the Echo Request messages use the Loose Source Route option in the IP header with the set of intermediate destinations specified in HostList. With loose source routing, successive intermediate destinations can be separated by one or multiple routers. The maximum number of addresses or names in the host list is 9. The HostList is a series of IP addresses (in dotted decimal notation) separated by spaces.

-p Period : Specifies the number of milliseconds to wait between pings.

-q NumQueries : Specifies the number of Echo Request messages sent to each router in the path. The default is 100 queries.

-w Timeout : Specifies the number of milliseconds to wait for each reply. The default is 3000 milliseconds (3 seconds).

-T : Attaches a layer-2 priority tag (for example, 802.1p) to the Echo Request messages that it sends to each of the network devices along the route. This helps to identify network devices that do not have layer-2 priority capability. This switch is used to test for Quality of Service (QoS) connectivity.

-R : Determines whether each network device along the route supports the Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP), which allows the host computer to reserve a specified amount of bandwidth for a data stream. This switch is used to test for Quality of Service (QoS) connectivity.

TargetName : Specifies the destination, which is identified either by IP address or host name.

Little bit more

You are surely aware of network traffic on your network. If your network is heavily used, you need to send pings at sufficient slow tempo to avoid network congestion. The other thing you need to know is that this command is available only if the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol is installed as a component in the properties of a network adapter in Network Connections.

Example:

C:\Users\xxxxx>pathping www.google.com

Tracing route to www.l.google.com [173.194.35.178]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  0  nb-notebook [10.10.39.122]
  1  10.10.39.1
  2  10.10.0.1
  3  10.10.12.100
  4  195.40.123.1
  5  89.10.3.3
  6  bdr01.net.iskon.hr [89.110.10.201]
  7  bdr01.net.iskon.hr [89.110.10.201]
  8  194.152.222.57
  9  hdr01-gdr10.ip.t-com.hr [195.29.240.94]
 10  gtr09-hdr01.ip.t-com.hr [195.29.241.242]
 11  195.29.110.218
 12  209.85.243.121
 13  216.239.48.144
 14  209.85.250.39
 15  muc03s02-in-f18.1e100.net [173.194.35.178]

Computing statistics for 375 seconds...
            Source to Here   This Node/Link
Hop  RTT    Lost/Sent = Pct  Lost/Sent = Pct  Address
  0                                           nb-notebook  [10.10.39.122]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  1    3ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  10.10.39.1
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  2    0ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  10.10.0.1
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  3    0ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  10.10.12.100
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  4    1ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  195.20.153.1
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  5    1ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  89.110.73.3
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  6    4ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  bdr01.net.iskon.hr [89.110.10.201]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  7    4ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  bdr01.net.iskon.hr [89.110.10.201]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  8  ---     100/ 100 =100%   100/ 100 =100%  194.152.222.57
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
  9    4ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  hdr01-gdr10.ip.t-com.hr [195.29.240.94]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
 10  ---     100/ 100 =100%   100/ 100 =100%  gtr09-hdr01.ip.t-com.hr [195.29.241.242]
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
 11   10ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  195.29.110.218
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
 12    9ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  209.85.243.121
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
 13  ---     100/ 100 =100%   100/ 100 =100%  216.239.48.144
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
 14  ---     100/ 100 =100%   100/ 100 =100%  209.85.250.39
                                0/ 100 =  0%   |
 15   18ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  muc03s02-in-f18.1e100.net [173.194.35.178]

Trace complete.

C:\Users\xxxxx>

When pathping is working the first thing you will se is the path. Is bassicaly the same thing like in tracert command. A busy message is displayed for approximately 90 seconds , the time for gather information from routers previously listed and from the links that connect them. At the end of this time, the test results are displayed.

 

2 Comments

  1. James Barnes December 29, 2012

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